You are never short of bar options in Bellavista, but one of the most welcoming options is Bar Dos Gardenias, which has regular salsa nights. It opened in 2004 (and named after the Buena Vista Social Club number) and has regular live music. It’s open to 2am or 3am, and closed Sunday and Monday. It serves bar snacks such as pizzas, and a charcuterie selection.
Most of Santiago's nightlife spots are located outside the downtown area. The Bellavista district is home to most of the buzzing bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Its main drag is Calle Pío Nono. Less discovered but perhaps more genuine is the area around Barrio Brasil, an old part of town. Meanwhile, the tidy middle-class district of Ñuñoa is gaining in popularity as a place for a night out among those disaffected by the kitsch of Bellavista. The best bars cluster around Plaza Ñuñoa.
For an extensive list of Santiago's pubs and clubs, visit www.pubs.cl.
Good sources of information are the Tiempo Libre supplement of the El Mercurio newspaper (www.emol.com), the Cultura section of La Tercera (www.tercera.cl) and the Santiago Times (www.santiagotimes.cl).